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Ireland has an abundant history in regards to their hearty and traditional foods. Ireland is home to many fresh and local resources to choose from. The agricultural sector is booming with land dedicated to raising livestock and growing crops, as well as miles of coastline for fishing. Many people pride themselves in finding fresh ingredients and supporting local markets. This fuels people to continuously make the traditional and everlasting recipes that many have come to know and love.

Like many traditional recipes, there are various ways to prepare them. Many families even add secret ingredients to make their dish really stand out. Although, these recipes have basic ingredients and instructions attached, it is always encouraged to experiment. Here are a few of Ireland’s traditional recipes that should be known by all.

SODA BREAD

Prep: 30 min. Cook: 1 hr. Total 1 hr 30 min. Yield: 8 servings. Level: Moderate

Ingredients:

  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp. cold margarine or butter
  • 1 c. golden or dark seedless raisins (optional)
  • 1½ c. buttermilk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease large cookie sheet.

  2. In large bowl, combine sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and 4 cups flour. Mix in margarine or butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in raisins, then buttermilk just until evenly moistened.

  3. With floured hand, gently knead dough in bowl a few times until dough forms a ball (do not overmix, or bread will be tough). Place dough on cookie sheet; shape into a 7-inch round loaf (dough will not be smooth).

  4. Sprinkle loaf with remaining 1/2 teaspoon flour. With sharp knife, cut 4-inch-long cross, about 1/4 inch deep, on top of loaf. Bake loaf 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

SHEPHERD’S PIE

Prep: 45 min. Cook: 45 min. Total 1 hr 30 min. Yield: 8 servings. Level: Intermediate

Ingredients: For the potatoes:

  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk
  • salt and coarse ground pepper to serve

For the meat filling:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen English peas

Directions:

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.

  2. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

  3. Place the half-and-half and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds.

  4. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the yolk until well combined.

  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  6. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat.

  7. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.

  8. Add the garlic and stir to combine.

  9. Add the lamb, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes.

  10. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute.

  11. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine.

  12. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

  13. Add the corn and peas to the lamb mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish.

  14. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown.

  15. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.  

 

CODDLE

Prep: 45 min. Cook: 3-5 hr. Total 3 hr 45 min. Yield: 8-12 servings. Level: Moderate

Ingredients:

  • 2kg (4 1/2lb) potatoes, peeled
  • 500ml (1 pint) boiled water
  • 1 ham, chicken or beef stock cube (optional)
  • 450g (1lb) good quality pork sausages
  • 450g (1lb) piece thick-cut bacon
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and coarse ground pepper to serve

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C/300°F

  2. Cut any larger potatoes into three or four pieces, leaving smaller ones whole so that they will cook evenly. Dissolve the stock cube in the boiled water, if using.

  3. Grill the sausages and bacon long enough to colour them but taking care not to dry them out. Drain on paper towels and chop the bacon into 2 1/2cm (1in) pieces. You can chop the sausages into bite-sized pieces, though some prefer to leave them whole.

  4. In a large ovenproof casserole dish with a tight lid, layer the onions, bacon, sausages and potatoes, seasoning each layer liberally with pepper and parsley. Continue until the ingredients are used up and pour the hot water or bouillon mixture over the top.

  5. On the stove, bring the liquid to a boil. Immediately reduce heat and cover the pot. You may like to put a layer of foil underneath the pot lid to help seal it.

  6. Place the covered pot in preheated oven and cook for at least three hours (up to four or five hours will not hurt it). After two hours, check liquid levels and add more water if necessary. There should be about an inch of liquid at the bottom of the pot at all times.

  7. Serve hot with fresh soda bread to mop up the gravy.

 

These recipes are time honored and a staple for Irish tradition. They have been passed down and altered over generation, but the basics have always stayed the same. Don’t hesitate to really get acquainted with these recipes. As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, people can recreate these dishes to celebrate the holiday and feel closer to Irish traditions. Who knows? These dishes may even become a staple in your household as well. Happy cooking!

I'd consider us friends if you've made it to my profile, so please call me Ruth Ann. I am a senior at NMSU that is studying Agricultural Communications and Journalism/ Mass Media. I love to write, report, and take photographs. I also hope to obtain a career in media and journalism in the near future! Wish me luck!
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